The existing online portal to file RTIs would soon enable petitioners to file an RTI online seeking information related to “life or liberty of a person” under Section 7(i) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, something that had to be done manually till now. The first appeal for an RTI filed under Section 7(i) of the RTI Act will also be provisioned online, a procedure that was also done manually.
Till now, if a petitioner wanted to file an RTI under Section 7(i) of the RTI Act, 2005—pertaining to providing information related to life or liberty of a person within 48 hours of the receipt of the request— he/she had to personally approach the particular department as the facility was not available online.
In case of denial or rejection of an RTI filed under Section 7(i), a petitioner had to wait for 30 days to make the first appeal, like it is the case for all other RTIs. According to the RTI Act, the public information officer is bound to furnish information sought under the Act, within 48 hours if it concerns the life or liberty of a person.
Till now, filing the first appeal was disallowed by the RTI portal as on the portal, there was no facility to make the first appeal before 30 days of receipt of the RTI.
The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Provisions (MPPGP) has directed the National Information Commission (NIC) to place the provisions of filing RTI under Section 7(i) of the RTI Act, 2005, on the online portal.
Mohit Gupta, advocate, Delhi Legal Services, explained, “To prove that a reply has not been furnished within 48 hours, a petitioner has to produce the stamped receipt. Several cases had come to notice where officials did not put the stamp and the exact time at which the petition had been filed. Therefore, a request had been made to make the provision online.”
On 31 August this year, the MPPGP communicated to the CPIOs (Central Public Information Officers) to make Section 7(i) of the RTI Act 2005 part of the online RTI portal.